- Premier League
Holt completes loan move to Villa
Grant Holt has completed the formalities of his loan move to Aston Villa and link up again with his former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert.
Lambert has broken with his policy of recruiting young talent over the last two seasons at Villa Park to sign 32-year-old Holt from Wigan Athletic to help with the club's battle against relegation.
Holt passed a medical at Villa Park on Tuesday before joining until the end of the season. Holt has scored just two goals in 21 appearances in all competitions for the Latics, but Lambert wants him to provide cover and competition for Christian Benteke following Libor Kozak's season-ending leg break.
"Losing Libor was a blow to us, obviously. When I knew Grant had become available it was something I wanted to pursue quickly because he'll add strength and experience to what is still a young squad overall," Lambert told Villa's official website.
"Coming back into the Premier League will rekindle that desire in him to succeed again at this level and, if he can replicate what he did in those three years at Norwich over these next few months here at Villa, then he'll make an impact, that's for sure.
"Grant's got some really strong attributes, he's someone who is tried and trusted and a player I've worked with before. We're looking at one or two other positions as well but this is good business for us and he'll be a really strong influence."
Holt said: "If you just look at the likes of Christian, Gabby and Andi and then the players behind them, you can see what quality is here. The manager is trying to build a strong base with youthful, hungry players while adding experience in there too - the likes of Ron Vlaar, Brad Guzan and Karim El Ahmadi.
"I'm just delighted to be a part of it to try and get the best out of them and, hopefully, they will also get the best out of me. It's a massive opportunity for me personally, an opportunity I couldn't turn down.
"To be able to come back into the Premier League, especially at a club as big as Villa, is fantastic and it's an opportunity for me to work with the gaffer and his staff again as well.
"He's able to get the best out of people, there's no doubt about that. I know what he wants to achieve here in the long-term and I know what he expects. I know what he expects on the training ground and I'm looking forward to working with him over the coming months to try to help things along and to consolidate the club's position.
"We all know this is a club in transition but we're making progress this season. We've got a lot of young lads at the club who are doing fantastic and I'm really delighted to be a part of it and to be able to lend a hand."